Today I will be blogging about the common and cliché’d topic known as the teenage years (cue dramatic music). Personally, I think that the teenage years are an over-dramatized, over-emphasized group of years that are made to seem like the most difficult and penultimate years of an individual’s life. In reality, the most common and taxing situations that most “teens” face are their SATs and whether their crush likes them back or not, neither of which should cause the turmoil and stress depicted in Hollywood dramatizations of the teenage years. Adults usually reminisce on their teenage years as either the best or the worst times of their life, both of which I think are totally unfit to label an insignificant, nonessential time period with.
But recently, much to my dismay, I have experienced many of the challenges associated with teenagers, aside from the usual SAT prep or crush. Each generation has a phase in their teenage years where they’re faced with their Early Life Crisis. Just for your information, I, JulesTeps, am officially coining the phrase “Early Life Crisis” right now. I’m having a real struggle with whatever I identify with, especially with the broad range in movements nowadays. Plus, my interests are so sparse an spread out, and many of them disconnect with my personality. So, the common question arises once again; “What am I?” Am I hipster, preppy, athletic, etc? I mean, I pin a lot of preppy clothing on Pinterest, so I could be that. But then again, I play volleyball competitively, so as far as I’m concerned, I could be one of those athletic types. But I do own some Urban Outfitters clothing and I’ve read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so maybe I fit in with the hipster subculture. Then again, I like listening to “Smells like Teenage Spirit” and wearing oversized, comfy flannels paired with my overused gray Chuck Taylors, so as far as I’m concerned, I’m grunge. Ahh! What to do! (By the way, I’m totally aware of how entirely cliché’d this sounds and how it’s inaccurate to group people into common categories, but hey, it’s my Early Life Crisis.)
So this issue stems from what I believe is a common concern, especially amongst teenagers. People want to identify with a group and create a stylistic image for themselves based upon that, while simultaneously maintaining their own identity and uniqueness. And trust me, I’ve got the latter part down. I’m really, really different, not like those dime-a-dozen type teenage girls who all wear the same Hollister tank top and flat-ironed hair. I guess what my issue is is identifying with a group, because my interests are so sparse.
But that’s the part I need to let go of. I guess what my revelation is, you don’t need to devote your entire image following one group or trend, or make friends solely within that movement. So, if you’re like me, wearing your grunge-ey flannel, playing volleyball, pinning preppy clothes on Pinterest, and listening to Carly Rae Jepsen, keep on doing that. Keep doing you. Do whatever you like without worries about “fitting in” or “following a trend”, because if you immerse yourself in a wide range of activities that you enjoy, you’ll end up with your own, unique identity that suits you and only you. And stylistic-wise, I think that that’s the more important. Yes, this post was a bit long-winded, and I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life (believe me, I’ve got to get my own life together before I can do that), but this is the philosophy that has worked for me.
Enjoy your early-life crisis!